(GIF by HeyBelinda)
(GIF by HeyBelinda)
Let’s not mince words here — the Lakers are boring. Sure, they’re a flaming train wreck from which we can’t avert our eyes, but their actual on-court product (and even some of the drama off it) is far from enjoyable, in the traditional sense. If you stripped away the star power and franchise mystique, all you’d be left with is a basketball team that’s losing far more than it wins, and there’s not much fun about that. (Again, in the traditional sense.)
But given there isn’t any way to not talk about the Lakers, I went to the ESPN Trade Machine (at least in part) and tried to figure out a deal that, in an alternate reality, would make the team more palatable. The trade I came up with is both realistic (based on some real rumors I’ve heard/read and players’ fair market value in mind) and totally effing bananas (five-team, 15-player trades and unicorns tend have a lot in common). I’d still like to think at least some parts dabble in the vicinity of the plausible.
In the end, I came up with a Lakers team (as well as a Cleveland one) that I would actually enjoy watching on a nightly basis. Of course, it’s built along the lines of my own personal views — fit over star power and great offense over any type of defense — but I think it would make the struggling L.A. team, as well as a couple of the others involved, more interesting.
Either way, there’s enough in there to get people yelling at each other (or at me), which is easily the best part of fake trades anyway. So here ya go:
Before Jay-Z took the stage September 28, on the Barclays Center's opening night — before he christened the building, before he consummated his home borough’s ascendance — we got a short video ticking off a selective list of Brooklyn’s accomplishments. “1862: BROOKLYN RAILROAD BEGINS OPERATION” and “1893: BROOKLYN BRIDGE COMPLETED” and “1895: BROOKLYN MUSEUM FOUNDED.” We saw “1913: EBBETS FIELD OPENS” and “1945: JACKIE ROBINSON JOINS THE BROOKLYN DODGERS” and “1949: MARCY PROJECTS BUILT.” And then the jouncy jazz riff playing under the montage cut out for the bone-crunching guitars of “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” and a string of Brooklyn babies were trumpeted: Basquiat, Biggie, Jordan, Aaliyah, Tyson, ODB, and Adam “MCA” Yauch, born in downtown Brooklyn in 1967. Twenty seconds later — before the montage picked up speed beyond decipherability, as if to suggest the borough’s simply overwhelming success rate — we saw Yauch again, along with The Beastie Boys: “1986: LICENSED TO ILL RELEASED.”
So much amazing is happening, and the Shootaround crew is here to help you keep track of it all. You'll find takes on moments you might've missed from the previous night, along with ones you will remember forever.
A couple of notes about the Rondo vs. Humps Garden Party ...
Today, at the end of the men's basketball quarterfinal between France and Spain (which Spain won, 66-59), French forward Nicolas Batum landed the nut shot heard round the world on Spain's Juan-Carlos Navarro. After the game, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski asked Batum, who makes his money playing for Portland, why he went south of the border on the Spanish guard. Batum responded, "I wanted to give him a good reason to flop." No wonder David Kahn likes this guy so much. Batum would later apologize for the shot, on Twitter: "I want to apologize for my stupid act at the end, I showed a bad image of France and myself, Congrats to team Spain." Good on him, though you would have to say the damage, both on Franco-Spanish relations and Navarro's family tree, has already been done.
Anyway, while we wait for the fallout from this grave international incident, let's take a trip through some basketball ball crimes past.
On the bright side, she very well might know more about basketball than any other child her age. She's like the child prodigy version of Hubie Brown. Just slightly more emotional. Don't know if this is fake or not, but maybe being real is overrated.
(Hat tip to Buzzfeed on this one.)
The first rule of writing about fantasy sports club is you do not talk about your own fantasy teams. The second rule of writing about fantasy sports club is you do not talk about your own fantasy teams, unless one of them happens to provide the perfect summation of what this almost locked-out, injury-riddled, stupidly unpredictable NBA season has done to the current fantasy basketball campaign.